- Briefing Room
Caption: The Michigan Cities Farmington Hills and Farmington have both partnered to Become Sifi Networks’ FiberCities
Source: Credit to the Sifi Networks’ FiberCities
Cities of Farmington Hills and Farmington Fiber Network
Cities Farmington Hills and Farmington, Michigan
|Project Sponsor / Borrower
Massachusetts Turnpike Authority [now the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)], the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the City of Boston, and the Greenway Conservancy
|Value Capture Techniques
Joint Development, Private Contribution, Right-of-Way Use Agreements
The project involves the development of fiber-to-the-home network in Michigan. In 2018, the Joint Municipal Broadband Taskforce was formed in Farmington Hills and Farmington cities, Michigan, to explore ways to improve the deployment of next-generation and fiber optic networks to determine how the network can best serve the community. The Taskforce determined that broadband internet is the fourth most critical utility, following electricity, gas, and water. As part of the City’s plan for economic growth and development, they would like to create equal access to high-speed, reliable, and affordable broadband internet service to every home and business in Farmington and Farmington Hills, Michigan. The cities’ demographics, population and corporate partners were also identified as reasons for selecting the communities to be the first in Michigan extended this opportunity.
The cities jointly hired CCG Consulting to perform a feasibility study to make recommendations on building a new broadband network to address the current broadband gap and provide capacity for future growth. The study, presented at a joint Farmington/Farmington Hills study session on January 25, 2021, showed the average household used more than one terabyte of data per month in the 3rd quarter of 2020. The study results included that the total network cost of the two cities could range up to $107 million, averaging about $5,600 per customer. The broadband switch will provide affordable, reliable service with faster speeds and universal access. The study also explored project financing options that include general obligation bonds, a $3,500 “buy in” from each new customer (financed over as long as 10 years), or a cooperative with a $500 investment from each member. Other options considered in the study would have the cities building a network and allowing open access, building and leasing to a partner, or building and hiring an operator.
In May 2021, the Joint Municipal Broadband TaskForce agreed to continue negotiations with a New Jersey-based firm, SiFi Networks, on the $107 million project, including approving a permit application from SiFi Networks. On May 26, 2021, the city officials met to discuss allowing SiFi Networks the permission to build a city-wide fiber optic network across Farmington Hills and Farmington. The organization is working with the cities to secure an agreement to fund, build, and operate the networks. The project would include 680 miles of fiber optic infrastructure across the two communities, and the network would be constructed through every city street, providing access to every property and business. The network will be open access, enabling multiple service providers to join and deliver their service.
The network will be privately funded. SiFi Networks will spend $150 million to create the network, which internet providers will be able to rent for use. The two cities will provide some human resources, but do not expect to pay anything for the network's creation or maintenance.
|Project Delivery / Contract Method
Build, Finance, & Own (design, build, finance and own a roughly USD 100m fiber-to-the-home network). The network will be privately funded, built and operated by SiFi Networks and is open access to enable numerous internet service providers to deliver gigabit internet services to residents and businesses throughout the city
|Project Advisors / Consultants
|Duration / Status
January 2018 - TBD
|Financial Status / Financial Performance
Farmington and Farmington Hills shared the $67,000 cost of a feasibility study conducted in 2020. The project work to build a city-wide fiber optic network across Farmington Hills and Farmington is yet to be funded.
|Related Links / Articles
City of Farmington Hills